Golden agers in Africa must help youths overcome adversity

November 27, 2013

I have always trusted that Africa can break the alienation and empower its young Africans to overcome adversity and I believe the current crop of leaders and population understands how it can be done. Ask anyone in Australia about the aborigine youths’ situation and they will inform you that famed drug gangs of 1980s New York lived a better life than 21st century aborigines who account for more than 70% incarcerations in Australia. Majority of the haves have failed to look at have not (African youths) circumstances through a different lens. In countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa, the top cream population have turned themselves into experts at quantifying disadvantages and by investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual researches that tells the world how youths in Africa cannot prosper after they factor in cooked up educational and social economic indicators that makes a illiterate buffoon look like a professor.Half-baked researchers from both in and out of Africa have for decades been describing to the public how there are immense gaps between the rich and poor but the same people have not helped in pushing African Governments to implement policies and measures that can help close the gap. If there is a place a young person is not valued is Africa where the grey haired men and women have failed to pave way for young generation to take over positions in middle management fearing that they may outperform them and that would mean a loss of their bread and butter. The same age bracket of has managed to sustain a negative image about their kids and grand kids that has further fueled stigmatization and marginalization of those young men and women they went to bed to manufacture. There are a number of important initiatives across sub Saharan Africa that are helping young people to turn around their lives.

However, a year can end without a single mainstream print media carrying a headline of such stories that often struggle for recognition even on radio and Television.Uganda, Kenya and Tanzanian Governments have over the last few years come up with youth funding kitty but one can only compare that to similar initiatives in crisis hit Europe as a drop in the ocean. Funding is one critical barrier to achieving generational change but the ‘greedy lot’ in Africa who on average are over 50 years old have failed to acknowledge the reality. In countries like Botswana and Mauritius Governments have employed systematically isolation and analysis the factors to identify the programs and projects that should be emulated by the rest of Africa. Conventional research practice requires us Governments to identify and quantify a problem before it seeks to solve it. Wikipedia enhanced writers called journalists have become part of the continuous heightened media negativity and that has only reinforced the underground beliefs of the African youths that those currently living in glass lives have no intention whatsoever to upgrade their thatched lives. Historical facts points to an urgent need to craft new ideas and foster youth integration in the social and economic sphere to give Africa something solid to rebuild on bearing in mind that by 2020 Africa will have the youngest population in the world. That can only be achieved by golden agers starting to embrace the good ideas and the local solutions that would really work for the young, trendy, tech savvy and well educated population in Africa.

Contador Harrison